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View Poll Results: Do the AIG employees deserve a $165 million in bonuses?
Of course, they worked hard for the money 20 19.23%
Heck no, those bonuses are my hard earned tax dollars. 84 80.77%
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:14 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by FIRE'd@51 View Post
I doubt there are many Goldman Sachs derivative traders who would want jobs at AIG.
I think the converse is true also, not many AIG traders could get a job at Goldman Sachs right now. Really, with thousands of Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Citigroup and Hedge fund traders looking for jobs, who would want to hire somebody from AIG financial products given the alternatives. Much like stock investing, or sports betting, there is very large element of luck in additon to skill involved in trading. Maybe the AIG traders were just unlucky and not stupid but why take a risk and hire one. I suspect AIG FP group is a pretty tainted bunch, so their threats of lawsuits or walking, are pretty hollow.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:50 AM   #42
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Guys, you aren't thinking of the practical elements of this issue. If these guys don't get their multi-million dollar bonuses, then who is going to pay their mortgages? That is right! You and I via the mortgage bailout. Servicing a note on a multi-million dollar house ain't cheap after all.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:28 AM   #43
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Isn't that just great when a group of people run their company in the ground so bad they threaten to destroy the global financial system, but on the way there, they are sure to write iron-clad contracts that guarantee themselves all sorts of sweet bonuses no matter what happens!?!?!?

Contracts? Please! There was downright fraud at this company. I don't care if a contract says "I still get my excessive bonus even if I or my employer engages in fraudulent and outrageously stupid behavior." That doesn't make sense and should allow a compensation contract to be renegotiated.

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Old 03-17-2009, 11:47 AM   #44
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http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/mar...ks-aig---time/

The lack of concern over contract law that is overtaking America is very troubling to me. If your word is no good so that one needs a signed contract to enforce and if that signed contract can be voided if enough in the populace scream, then there is no system upon which to base a business other than currying favors with the government and PR with the populace.

The error made was by the government paying money without any restrictions at the time nor idea of how the money was to be used. Screaming about this 100 million + is a very pleasant distraction of what is truly happening with the 2 trillion of funds paid.

Do people still believe the original government TARP of 750 billion will ultimately be profitable for the US?
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:01 PM   #45
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Running Man: We must be doing the identical surfing as I was going to post this same or similar link. It is really kind of scary to see these politicians reverse their own laws virtually days after passing them. The way I read the article Mr/Senator Dodd wrote a into the law specifically to EXEMPT these bonuses (they could be accomplished) and now is trying to tax them at up to 90%. All I can say is watch out if these folks decide to go nuts (well more nuts than they already have). Rewriting contract law on the fly is going to have a lot of "unintended consequences". As far as TARP being profitable for the US Taxpayers goes, and as our VP likes to say "Give me a F**king break".
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:02 PM   #46
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Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He Put In - FOXBusiness.com

The lack of concern over contract law that is overtaking America is very troubling to me. If your word is no good so that one needs a signed contract to enforce and if that signed contract can be voided if enough in the populace scream, then there is no system upon which to base a business other than currying favors with the government and PR with the populace.

The error made was by the government paying money without any restrictions at the time nor idea of how the money was to be used. Screaming about this 100 million + is a very pleasant distraction of what is truly happening with the 2 trillion of funds paid.

Do people still believe the original government TARP of 750 billion will ultimately be profitable for the US?
Fair enough re: contracts - you're right it's a very slippery slope. But without the $170B in TARP/bailout money, how would AIG pay the $165M in bonuses - how do you reconcile that? Taxpayers have a right to be outraged here IMHO...
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:07 PM   #47
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Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He Put In - FOXBusiness.com

The lack of concern over contract law that is overtaking America is very troubling to me. If your word is no good so that one needs a signed contract to enforce and if that signed contract can be voided if enough in the populace scream, then there is no system upon which to base a business other than currying favors with the government and PR with the populace.
There is a very good possibility that these people who are getting the 165 m in bonus money are being scapegoated. The stars of wall street are those who do the trading and selling, they are paid on performance.

The products, such as swaps, whatever, are produced by actuaries and ok'd by the big guys, Liddy, Paulson, Fuld and the boys.

The boys knowing the products could well sink the company essentially gave the orders to sell these products like hotcakes, since AIG seems to be the only game in town to sell swaps against the mbs/cdo.s The sales people just sell and trade.

So who is the culprit here? Today I saw Schumer going after the bonuses, but if one is to look carefully, how many in the congress have received big bucks from these firms on behest of the "boys" on wall street.

Schumer is not going after Liddy, not after Thain, not after Greenberg, but going after this sales arm. It's like blaming the car dealer for the crappy car put out by the "boys" in Detroit.

They are being scapegoated.

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Old 03-17-2009, 12:21 PM   #48
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Fair enough re: contracts - you're right it's a very slippery slope. But without the $170B in TARP/bailout money, how would AIG pay the $165M in bonuses - how do you reconcile that? Taxpayers have a right to be outraged here IMHO...

But what happened to the other 169.9 Billion? Government is just not telling, it is only the light of day that is making this stink. The truth is the government paid them the money to meet their obligations, I would have let AIG go bankrupt myself.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #49
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This thread, and the Santelli thread, highlights the dangers of "populism". I expect the likes of Schumer, and most every other politician, to grandstand. But Mr. Santelli should have had a clear enough understanding of markets to know that if we just "let it fail", the dominoes could keep falling until there are none left standing.

My analogy is an old clunker, with carb and ignition problems, that requires you to always keep your foot on the throttle, lest the thing die, and be hard as hell to get started again...

Still, it's easy to see the irony in using the "keeping key people" argument; does this mean the same "key people" who drove AIG and other institutions, not to mention the world economy, into the ditch? Sheesh...
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:35 PM   #50
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It seems we are moving away from "rule of law" to the "rule of mob".

What the mob forgets is that weapons it supports be used on others can be turned around and used on it.

From the WSJ article quoted earlier:

In the letter, Mr. Liddy wrote that "outside counsel" had advised that the previously agreed to payments to employees at the financial products unit are "legal, binding obligations of AIG." He wrote that there are "serious legal, as well as business, consequences for not paying."
"I do not like these arrangements and find it distasteful and difficult to recommend to you that we must proceed with them," Mr. Liddy wrote, but added, "Honoring contractual commitments is at the heart of what we do in the insurance business."
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:37 PM   #51
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Goverment screwed up and didn't include language disallowing bonus payments for the corporations taking bail out $. Also, the bonus is contractual and was public knowledge before the bailout. Of course the politicians and media are leveraging this to demonstrate the evils of big business & capitalism.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:52 PM   #52
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Goverment screwed up and didn't include language disallowing bonus payments for the corporations taking bail out $. Also, the bonus is contractual and was public knowledge before the bailout. Of course the politicians and media are leveraging this to demonstrate the evils of big business & capitalism.
Yep. I blame myself for help voting some of these guys into office. After all the people voted them in.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:12 PM   #53
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Goverment screwed up and didn't include language disallowing bonus payments for the corporations taking bail out $. Also, the bonus is contractual and was public knowledge before the bailout. Of course the politicians and media are leveraging this to demonstrate the evils of big business & capitalism.
Actually, if one look at what is true, those at the helm of these failures for the past 10 set this disaster in motion but yet collected hundreds of millions, or billions in compensation.

Those are the culprits. Problem is,, they are entangled with Washington. If we were to take their compensation away, then the question of bonuses would be moot. Perhaps we should start with Paulson, who built up a fortune at the helm of Goldman S.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:14 PM   #54
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And if you think the taking back of these bonuses will be the only contracts to not be honored here is the first court to allow a government to void a pension:
In a first, bankruptcy judge rules Calif. city can void union contracts
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:05 PM   #55
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Seems the one to thank for the AIG bonuses is Sen. Chris Dodd.

As I said in an earlier post, there was not enough media info available at the time. Now there is.

From a Fox news article:

To Recover AIG Bonuses, Lawmakers Scramble to Undo Protections They Approved - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com

Though Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is among those leading the charge on retrieving the bonuses, an amendment he added to the $787 billion stimulus bill last month created a roadblock to getting that money back.
The amendment, meant to restrict executive pay for bailed-out banks, also included an exception for "contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009."
This would seem to exempt the AIG bonuses that lawmakers and President Obama are looking to recover. Incidentally, Dodd is the largest single recipient of 2008 campaign donations from AIG, with $103,100, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:58 PM   #56
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Term limits are looking better all the time...
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:34 PM   #57
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73 of the bonuses were for $1,000,000+. This seems excessive for a bankrupt company.
These bonuses should have been based on the company's ability to pay them , not the US taxpayers.
Why would you want to reward and retain the folks who ran this train into the ditch?
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:46 PM   #58
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73 of the bonuses were for $1,000,000+. This seems excessive for a bankrupt company.
These bonuses should have been based on the company's ability to pay them , not the US taxpayers.
Why would you want to reward and retain the folks who ran this train into the ditch?

Beats me. I also ask why would Congress not have stipulations on money they were throwing to these companies. Beats me again..
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:47 PM   #59
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Why would you want to reward and retain the folks who ran this train into the ditch?
But were these the same people that ran it into the ground? That's the info I have not seen yet.

But, the one to ask does seem to be Senator Dobbs. And I wonder why Pres. Obama is not asking him?

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Seems the one to thank for the AIG bonuses is Sen. Chris Dodd.


From a Fox news article:

To Recover AIG Bonuses, Lawmakers Scramble to Undo Protections They Approved - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com

Though Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is among those leading the charge on retrieving the bonuses, an amendment he added to the $787 billion stimulus bill last month created a roadblock to getting that money back.
The amendment, meant to restrict executive pay for bailed-out banks, also included an exception for "contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009."
This would seem to exempt the AIG bonuses that lawmakers and President Obama are looking to recover. Incidentally, Dodd is the largest single recipient of 2008 campaign donations from AIG, with $103,100, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #60
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I voted for "Of course, they worked hard for the money" because if I've learned nothing else from this forum, I've learned that all rich people are the most highly productive members of society. After all, it is only through their Herculean efforts that wealth is created. For as sure as the sun rises, if millions are not paid to these indispensable pillars of our shared prosperity, even in their catastrophic failure, they will simply not show up for work and all wealth will vanish from the universe. To prevent this economic calamity, not only must their compensation contracts be honored, but we must immediately reduce their marginal taxation so that they are properly incentivized to keep producing the enormous societal benefits for which they are paid so highly.
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